Wizz Air Holdings plc is a Hungarian ultra low-cost carrier group registered in Jersey. The company includes the subsidiaries Wizz Air Hungary, Wizz Air Malta, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air UK. The airlines serve numerous cities across Europe, as well as some destinations in North Africa, the Middle East, South, and Central Asia. As of 2023, the airline group has its largest bases at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport and London Luton Airport and flies to 194 airports.[5] The holding company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.[6]

Wizz Air Hungary Ltd.
IATA ICAO Callsign
W6 WZZ WIZZ AIR
FoundedSeptember 2003; 20 years ago (2003-09)
Commenced operations19 May 2004; 20 years ago (2004-05-19)
AOC #EASA.AOC.001
Parent companyWizz Air Holdings plc
HeadquartersBudapest, Hungary
Key peopleRoland Tischner (Officer Wizz Air Hungary Operations)[1]
Wizz Air Holdings plc
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer program
  • Wizz Discount Club
  • Wizz Privilege Pass
  • Wizz MultiPass
Subsidiaries
Fleet size206 (2024)
Destinations194 (April 2024)[3]
Traded as
Key people
RevenueIncrease €5,073.1 million (2024)[4]
Operating incomeIncrease €437.9 million (2024)[4]
Net incomeIncrease €365.9 million (2023)[4]
Employeesc. 8,000 (2024)[5]
Websitewww.wizzair.com

The oldest airline of the group is Wizz Air Hungary Ltd. (Hungarian: Wizz Air Hungary Légiközlekedési Zrt.) and has its head office in Budapest. Wizz Air Hungary has the largest fleet of any Hungarian airline.

History

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Foundation and expansion

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Wizz Air Hungary was established in September 2003. The lead investor is Indigo Partners, an American private equity firm[7] specialising in transportation investments. The first flight was made from Katowice International Airport on 19 May 2004.[8]

On 25 February 2015, Wizz Air shares began trading on the London Stock Exchange.[9]

In November 2017, Wizz Air announced its planned launch of a British division called Wizz Air UK, based at London Luton mainly to take advantage of landing slots acquired when Monarch Airlines entered administration that year. The airline applied successfully to the CAA for an AOC and a Type A Operating Licence. The airline launched operations in March 2018 using British registered aircraft. Wizz Air UK was to start taking over UK-bound flights previously operated by Wizz Air, and plans called for the airline to employ up to 100 staff by the end of 2018.[10]

In November 2019, Wizz Air dismissed concerns about its part in environmental damage raised by the "flight shame" movement, basing its response on the airline's per-passenger emission level. The company said it would reduce per capita emissions by an additional 30 percent by 2030. Wizz Air also condemned inefficient airlines such as Lufthansa that offered business class and used outdated technologies, which according to Wizz Air cause far more environmental damage.[11][12]

By early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Wizz Air to ground its fleet.[13] One-fifth of the staff were dismissed when it became clear that air travel across the continent was shutting down.[14]

In April 2020, Wizz Air became Europe's largest low-cost airline with 78,000 passengers.[15] By mid-June, they had reached 40 percent of their previous year's normal weekly revenue, while the proportion of no-shows fell from 80 percent in April to 30 percent.[16]

In July 2020, the airline announced that it would form a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company.[17]

In October 2020, Wizz took delivery of an A330-200F cargo aircraft (HA-LHU, formerly Qatar Cargo), operating it on behalf of the Hungarian Government as 'Hungary Air Cargo'.[18]

In August 2021, company management announced that they plan to hire 4,600 new pilots by 2030, with the first part of their plan to train and hire nearly 500 pilots by the end of 2021.[19]

In September 2021, rival low-cost carrier EasyJet claimed it had rejected a takeover offer from Wizz Air.[20]

On 14 November 2021, on the first day of the Dubai Airshow, Wizz Air was one of four airlines that ordered additional A321neo jets. Wizz Air is due to receive a total of 75 A321neo and 27 A321XLRs, adding up to 102 new aircraft.[21]

In May 2022, Wizz Air said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Investment to collaborate on potential investment and operating models to boost the country's tourism industry and increase its connectivity.[22][23]

On 8 June 2022, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to work on the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft.[24]

2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine

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Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, four Wizz Air aircraft were stranded in Ukraine, three in Kyiv, and one in Lviv (the latter eventually being recovered and returned to service).[25][26]

Flying was curtailed for two weeks by the outbreak of war, but Wizz Air soon returned to normal operations with the exception of the Ukrainian and Russian markets, which remained suspended.[27]

In March 2022, amid the invasion, Wizz Air provided 100,000 free airline tickets to refugees for short-distance flights from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.[28][29]

Corporate affairs

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The key trends for the Wizz Air Group over recent years are (as of the financial year ending 31 March):

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Revenue (€m) 1,011 1,227 1,429 1,571 1,948 2,327 2,761 0,739 1,663 3,896
Net profit (€m) 87.7 183 192 225 275 123 281 −576 −642 −535
Number of employees 1,650 2,040 2,396 3,033 3,686 4,261 4,440 3,960 5,772 7,389
Number of passengers (m) 13.9 16.5 20.0 23.8 29.6 34.6 40.0 10.2 27.1 51.0
Load factor (%) 85.7 86.7 88.2 90.1 91.3 93.6 93.5 64.0 78.1 87.8
Number of served airports 96 110 124 141 135 146 155 166 194 228
Number of served countries 35 38 39 42 44 44 45 44 50 56
Fleet size 46 55 67 79 93 112 121 137 153 179
CO2/RPK (g) 61.5 59.9 58.5 57.2 77.3 60.7 53.8
References [30][31] [30] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39]

As of January 2024 the group expects a net profit of €350-400 million for the financial year 2024.[40]

 
Wizz Air Airbus A320-200 wearing the company's former livery

Subsidiaries

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Cabin of a Wizz Air Airbus A320-200
Current subsidiaries
Former subsidiaries
  • Wizz Air Bulgaria[45] was Wizz Air's Bulgarian unit set-up in 2005 and based at Sofia Airport with a fleet of 3 aircraft. It ceased operations on 31 March 2011, all flights merged back into Wizz Air Hungary Ltd.[45]
  • Wizz Air Ukraine, founded in 2008, was the Ukrainian unit of Wizz Air, which had its own air operator's certificate and operated from Kyiv Zhuliany International Airport and Lviv International Airport with a fleet of 4 aircraft. As a result of the economic crisis caused by the Russo-Ukrainian War, Wizz Air Ukraine was terminated on 19 April 2015. Some routes to and from Kyiv were taken over by Wizz Air Hungary Ltd, while all others ceased. The airline eventually began expanding once again in Ukraine.[46] As of October 2016, it operated flights to 13 cities in 7 countries from Kyiv.[47]

Destinations

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Countries served by Wizz Air as of March 2024[48][49]

These notable executions occurred regarding destinations:

Year Destination Notability Refs
2008 Ukraine Start of domestic operations in a country outside of the European Union [50]
2011 Belgrade New base outside of the European Union [51]
2012 Kutaisi Airline's first route to the South Caucasus [52]
Skopje New base outside of the European Union [53]
Tel Aviv Airline's first route to the Middle East [54]
2013 Dubai Airline's first route to the Arabian Peninsula [55]
2014 Hurghada Airline's first route to North Africa [56]
2015 Tuzla New base outside of the European Union [57]
2016 Chisinau New base outside of the European Union [58]
Kutaisi Airline's first base in the South Caucasus [59]
2017 Astana Airline's first route to Central Asia [60]
London Luton New base outside of Central and Eastern Europe [61]
2018 Vienna New base outside of Central and Eastern Europe [62]
2020 Larnaca New base outside of Central and Eastern Europe [63]
London Gatwick New base outside of Central and Eastern Europe [64]
Milan Malpensa New base in a country outside of Central and Eastern Europe [65]
Tirana New base outside of the European Union [66]
2021 Abu Dhabi New base outside of the European Union and Central and Eastern Europe [67]
Dortmund Closure of a base outside of Central and Eastern Europe after having been operated for a year [68]
Norway Termination of all its domestic routes in a country outside of the European Union, after being operated for less than a year [69]
2022 Doncaster Closure of a base outside of Central and Eastern Europe after having been operated for less than two years [70]
Malé Airline's first route to South Asia [71]
Sarajevo Closure of a base outside of the European Union after having been operated for a year [72][73]
2023 Cardiff Closure of a base outside of Central and Eastern Europe after having been operated for less than a year [74]

Fleet

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Wizz Air Group fleet size[75]
 
Wizz Air Airbus A321neo
 
Wizz Air Cargo A330-200F

As of April 2024, Wizz Air and its subsidiaries operate the following aircraft:[76][77]

Wizz Air fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-200 40[76] 180 To be gradually replaced by Airbus A320neos.
186
Airbus A320neo 6[76] 13[77] 186[78] All operated by Wizz Air Malta.
Airbus A321-200 41[76] 230
Airbus A321neo 118[76] 270[77] 239[79] Largest operator.[77]
Deliveries until 2029.[80]
Airbus A321XLR 47[79][81] 239[79] Deliveries from 2024[82] to 2029.
Wizz Air cargo fleet
Airbus A330-200F 1[76] Cargo HA-LHU (owned by the Hungarian government)
Total 206 330


Incidents

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On 8 June 2013, Wizz Air Flight 3141, an Airbus A320-232 (registration HA-LWM) from Bucharest Henri Coandă Airport, Romania to Rome-Ciampino, Italy, made an emergency landing[83] at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport when the crew encountered problems lowering one of the main undercarriages and locking it into position. The aircraft diverted to Fiumicino for its longer runway, and firefighters applied foam after landing as a precautionary measure. The aircraft was evacuated using slides.[84] Initial reports of injured passengers were denied by both Wizz Air and Rome Fiumicino Airport, who said some passengers requested medical checkups but reported no injuries.[85]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Leadership Team". Wizz Air. Retrieved 31 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Wizz Air Annual Results FY24" (PDF). Wizz Air. 23 May 2024. p. 3.
  3. ^ "Investor Relations Overview". Wizz Air. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  4. ^ a b c "Annuual Results for the year ended 31 March 2024" (PDF). Wizz Air. Retrieved 4 June 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Investor Relations Overview". Wizz Air. Retrieved 1 November 2023.
  6. ^ "FTSE 100 close: London index muted amid Wall Street shut down for 4 July as Wizz Air soars". City AM. 4 July 2023. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Ryanair meets Wizz Air: does a merger make sense?". 2009-07-08. Archived from the original on 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  8. ^ "Wizz Air celebrates 10th birthday and 69 million passengers". Anna Aero. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  9. ^ "LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE TODAY WELCOMED WIZZ AIR HOLDINGS PLC". 25 February 2015. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Wizz Air Prepares for Brexit". Airliner World. 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  11. ^ "Wizz Air CEO Blames Business Seats for Aviation's CO2 Headache". Bloomberg. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  12. ^ Tivadar, Körtvélyes (2019-11-13). "Váradi szerint a légiközlekedési iparág bűne, hogy business-en utaztat". AIRportal.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  13. ^ "Már csak 8 városba repül Budapestről a Wizz Air". Portfolio.hu (in Hungarian). 25 March 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  14. ^ Bálint, Szalai (2020-06-19). "Wizz Air-vezér: Soha nem fogják visszafizetni az állami mentőcsomagokat a megmentett légitársaságok". index.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  15. ^ "Európa legnagyobb fapadosa lett a Wizz Air – vak vagy bátor a cég? | G7 - Gazdasági sztorik érthetően". G7.hu (in Hungarian). 2020-05-18. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  16. ^ www.napi.hu. "Wizz Air: az utasok 30 százaléka nem jelenik meg a beszállásnál". Napi.hu. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  17. ^ "Wizz Air Abu Dhabi to become UAE's sixth national airline". The National. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Wizz Air takes delivery of A330-200(F) for gov't ops". ch-aviation. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  19. ^ Zrt, HVG Kiadó (2021-08-06). "4600 új pilótát venne fel a Wizz Air 2030-ig". hvg.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2021-09-09.
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  22. ^ "Low-cost carrier Wizz Air explores opportunities in Saudi Arabia". Reuters. May 10, 2022 – via www.reuters.com.
  23. ^ Lea, Robert. "Wizz Air looks east with Saudi expansion" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
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  27. ^ Flóra, Nagy (2022-05-19). "Megvannak az Ukrajnában rekedt Wizz Air gépek". index.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  28. ^ Rains, Taylor. "A European low-cost airline is offering Ukrainians 100,000 free plane tickets from neighboring countries". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  29. ^ "Wizz Air offers 100,000 free plane tickets to Ukrainian refugees". The Independent. 2022-03-02. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
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  42. ^ Liu, Jim (12 July 2020). "Wizz Air Abu Dhabi schedules October 2020 launch". Routesonline.
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  49. ^ "Wizz Air Map". Wizz Air. 20 July 2023.
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  54. ^ "Wizz Air to Enter Israel Market from Dec 2012". Aviation Week. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  55. ^ "Wizz Air: to Dubai and beyond! Pushing the frontier of the narrowbody LCC model". centreforaviation.com. 1 November 2013.
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  58. ^ "Wizz Air announces 26th base in Chisinau". Wizz Air. Oct 5, 2016.
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  61. ^ Rees, Tom (2017-06-22). "Wizz Air opens first UK base at Luton". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  62. ^ "Wizz Air to open a base at Vienna in late 2Q18". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  63. ^ "Wizz Air's President: We want to continue building on our position as number one at Larnaca airport". in-cyprus.philenews.com. 2024-05-07. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
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  66. ^ "Tirana International Airport". www.tirana-airport.com. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
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  68. ^ "Dortmund: Wizz Air closes only base in Germany". Aviation.Direct. 2021-08-11. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  69. ^ "Flyr confirms launch network, Wizz exits Norway's domestic market". Aviation Week. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  70. ^ "Wizz Air to Shut Doncaster Base Amid UK Travel Squeeze". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2024-05-08.
  71. ^ "Wizz Air Abu Dhabi commences its first flight ever to traveller hotspot the maldives". Wizz Air. Retrieved Oct 4, 2022.
  72. ^ "Wizz Air to open Sarajevo base in 2Q21". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  73. ^ "Wizz Air to shut Sarajevo base and terminate nineteen routes". exyuaviation.com. 2022-10-06. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  74. ^ "Wizz Air To Close Cardiff Base, Ceasing All Service From Airport | Aviation Week Network". aviationweek.com. Retrieved 2024-05-08.
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  80. ^ "Wizz Air Abu Dhabi eyes chunk of Indigo A321neo order". Ch-Aviation. 24 November 2021.
  81. ^ "US's Indigo Partners orders 255 A321neo Family jets". Ch-Aviation. 14 November 2021.
  82. ^ "First delivery Airbus A321XLR slips to early 2024". airinsight.com. 4 May 2022.
  83. ^ "Wizzair W6 3141 Bucharest – Rome emergency landing". planecrashes.org. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
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  85. ^ "Wizz Air jet makes safe emergency landing in Rome". Yahoo News. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
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